Alexander Wang as new creative director for Balenciaga became one of the biggest debates of the season. Some were disappointed, some joyful for him, and others (like me) curious to know what he would bring to the table, for he had big shoes to fill in. The wait was over Thursday morning.
Wang sent a good message across here. I never saw a glimpse of Nicholas Ghesquiere’s work in any of the clothes. It was as he never existed; thought competitive. Just as Raf Simons opted to go back to the archives at Dior, Mr.Wang went the same route as well. I felt it was a great moment to celebrate the history of a master – Cristobal Balenciaga – with the debut of a new designer. It was clear that Alexander had been doing his homework for quite some time. The months he took to do his research and study every detail of the house signatures paid off. Couture silhouettes are synonymous of the house, so this is what Alexander gave us. You wanted couture, volume, and texture? Well, here it is.
I was very pleased with the round shoulders, black cocoon coats, cracked marble turtlenecks that looked they had a life of its own, and mink jackets that had an astonishing visual effect. Skinny pants were the surprise here, knowing Wang is not so into the fitted trend situation, were pleasing to watch. A favorite of mine on the runway was a gray dress with beautiful prints of swirls; a mosaic parade was happening everywhere.
If I were to personally grade this collection, I would give it an A. Why? Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m used to experiencing color influence on most of the designs the previous designer used to present, which I may have wanted. If you know already, Alexander Wang is all about the black and white, and some gray. We know he does extraordinarily great when it comes to texture, which was not doubt perfectly present on this runway, but maybe his next step will be to let go of his fear of experimenting with more color. Overall, it was a great technique of Wang to use the archives as his advantage for his debut. Hopefully, next season he upgrades his hues a little more for his spring festive.